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Quotes (the Indie Years to 2011)


"The root of our ethics, the core values of our band, are still rooted in a punk rock ethos.  There's a consciousness to what we do.  We're doing this for a bigger reason.  If you grew up in punk or around punk you carry that into being a lawyer or a doctor or a teacher or even into a band.  I think there are some basic principles that always go along with it, like for the most part, especially these days, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, tolerance.  It's supposed to be the place where everyone who gets made fun of in their high school is allowed to go."
    (Benny Horowitz - andPOP, 21 August 2010)

"Being punk rock is nowadays more of an ethic or a sense of morals than it is a genre."
    (Alex Rosamilia - WFXN, April 2009)

"[W]e do lean more - especially ethically - towards punk rock, that kind of value system where we actually care about the kids coming to see us."
    (Brian Fallon - Big Cheese, November 2010)

"Songwriting is one of those old school preacher things, I think.  I feel like singers and preachers get smacked by some kinda crazy lightning right before they deliver; because I'm completely oblivious if you asked me how to write a song, it just happens, I can't take the credit for it, and then bang: hallelujah."
    (Brian Fallon -, 2009)

"It's 30% craft of knowing how to move things around and word play and 70% Divine Intervention.  I don't think man in general can take too much credit for the art they produce, it certainly seems bigger than anything I can comprehend."
   (Brian Fallon - blog post, 30 August 2010)

"I can't write songs 'cos I'm awesome; I write songs because I was born and God gave me that talent."
   (Brian Fallon - Matt and Mondo's Punk Rock Power Hour, 1 April 2011)

"I think a good melody is what gets you hooked in initially, but the story is what keeps people going back. I think that is what separates a 'one-hit-wonder' from a 'classic song'." 
    (Alex Rosamilia - Room Thirteen, February 2009)

"If you're gonna write anything that's melody or hook-oriented, you're always gonna dance on that line of it being cheesy. Sometimes you wonder, is it Social Distortion or the Goo Goo Dolls? But we have a very serious filtration process in the band. There's a lot of stuff no one ever hears. And there were songs, while we were writing, where we just kind of said, 'Nah dude, that's too close to the edge.' We had to develop some sort of insight into the middle ground. But I'm over-critical."
    (Benny Horowitz - Glide, 16 November 2009)

"We're a soul band, but a soul band who grew up on punk and hardcore.  We sing about everyday stuff - working, the ladies, growing up, dying ... but we tell the stories with the language of basement, VFW Halls, dirty clubs, tour vans, and a youth spent listening to The Clash."
    (Brian Fallon - WonkaVision, August 2008)

"But as far as our influences, where we come from and how we value ourselves and the people around us, it is punk. [...]  But itís a lot easier to hold onto those cookie-cutter, punk ideals when you're 16, living with your parents and getting ready to go off to college. You've got your whole life ahead of you. It's a big fucking difference when you're in your late 20s, everything that was supposed to be great is behind you now and you're still sitting there, in the middle of the fucking rain with no umbrella because of punk rock. When you reach that point, your standards can bend a lot. [...] With age not only comes wisdom but real life tumbling down on your shoulders. It's just a lot easier to be punk when you donít have that all coming down on you. [...] If you grow up punk, and you really believe in those ethics when you do it, it doesn't matter whether you're a doctor, or a lawyer, whatever you do, you're going to carry that consciousness and that morality with you. And on that basis, I think we're about as punk as a band in our situation can get. We don't treat people wrong. We don't rip people off. We're direct, we're honest with everyone."
    (Benny Horowitz - Glide, 16 November 2009)

"Everybody in what they do has some or several people that they look up too. I think that as artists, it develops their personality. I think that as an artist, in very rare cases there's a person who'll step out of the gate that's completely original. [...] I think you copy people, and emulate people, until eventually you've copied so many people, and emulated so many people, that eventually it's all mashed together and you've got you're own thing."
    (Brian Fallon - Racket, March 2008)

"You have to give credit where it's due.  I've been cautious to make people know who our influences are.  When I was a kid and heard a band, then accidentally stumbled upon the band they stole the riff from, I'd feel cheated."
    (Brian Fallon - Chart, 5 November 2008)

"New Jersey has an essence. It has a different vibe than a lot of places. Thereís a lot of hard-working, blue-collar roots, especially with where weíre from and our families. That definitely comes out in our music."
   (Alex Levine - The Vancouver Sun, 22 September 2009)

"I wouldn't say there's a specific Jersey sound or Jersey genre.  But even though everything sounds different, there's a similar sense of desparation.  There's a hint of claustrophobia because of how easy it is to get stuck in New Jersey.  So it's not a genre, but a state of mind."
    (Alex Rosamilia - Gravity Rides, 26 March 2009)

"We've taken Springsteen's spirit, because we come from the same place.  We're seeing the same things he saw down the highway 30 years ago."
    (Benny Horowitz - Q magazine, December 2008)

"I don't want to tell what the songs are about for me, because then people can't decide for themselves, which is why I write; it's for you to find your own meaning in. For me it's my story, for someone else it's theirs; if I tell exactly what it means, then it's only my story."
    (Brian Fallon -, March 2009)

"You can't grasp the weight of what someone else thinks about your work.  You hear it, and you understand it, but to actually receive it is something I can't quite do yet. [...] Like with Joe Strummer; there's no way anybody could feel about my stuff like I felt about that. And it's not a false sense of humility."
   (Brian Fallon - Express Night Out, May 2009)

"I'll spend three months working on one song because I refuse to have someone who likes music go through what I went through when I went out and bought a band that I love's new album only to learn it was total crap."
   (Brian Fallon - Kerrang, January 2009)

"I won't continue down the same path all the time. Hopefully, I'll get it right on the next record, but then I'll want to do something different.  If you get something right, you gotta do something different, 'cause the only thing left to do is get it wrong.  Nobody wants to hear the same thing over and over again."
    (Brian Fallon - Chart, 5 November 2008)

"I want to write lyrics for people who don't have a voice and talk about things that people can't get out there and make public.  We have a recession going on here and there are things people can't talk about, like health insurance, the struggle to feed your family and keep your job.  I want to write songs that make people think 'Yeah, I can make it through another day'."
    (Brian Fallon - Kerrang, 20 May 2009)

"[A]s a writer, you're always trying to reach one person, and that's the listener... if you're Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones, or MGMT, I don't care... you're always only reaching that one person who's hearing you at that very moment with a record... so embrace that, accept the invitation and step into the artist's living room for a moment and hear the conversation."
    (Brian Fallon - blog post, 12 May 2010)

"From the very start, movies and books were always important for me when it came to writing. That's something I picked up from Dylan and Springsteen. A lot of people just stick with other musicians, but there's plenty of inspiration on your bookshelf or in your film collection. It was stuff like Dante's Inferno, and a lot of Jack Kerouac. With Kerouac, I really got into the travelling and the idea of not having a valid explanation for the constant travelling. As a touring musician, I suppose I appreciated the constant need to be on the move. His lifestyle was quite different to mine, though. I don't do drugs, I'm too focused, so that side didn't resonate with me. During the writing of American Slang, I was trying to educate myself on classic American movies that you really should watch but which I never got around to seeing. I dug in to Martin Scorsese's movies a lot, Chinatown with Jack Nicholson, that sort of thing."
    (Brian Fallon - The Irish Times, 11 June 2010)

"You know, it all depends where the starting point is. It could be a riff, or a drum beat. Most often Brian will come in with lyrics and a progression, and we'll work around that. Like 'Cowgirls', the riff came first, then the melody, and we worked around that. Once the initial part is done and we start working on it, everyone does his part. No one tells anyone you should do it like this or like that. Everyone does their own part. Sometimes in the studio we'll hear what somebody's doing and say, 'So that's what you're playing there!"
    (Alex Rosamilia - The Aquarian Weekly, 29 September 2010)

"Brian is the main lyricist and songwriter. so typically a song will start with Brian having a riff a riff or sometimes a song that he has the lyrics and melody to but no music. Typically it starts out with some sort of demo that Brian comes up with and he brings it to the chopping block.  We cut and paste and arrange and after that it's a pretty open process."
    (Benny Horowitz - Rhythm, October 2010)

Touring, Performing
"I know now why most people can't make it in a band, it's not for lack of talent, it's because not a lot of people can tough out the touring that it takes to survive and keep your band in the public eye. It takes a desire beyond the norm to do this kind of thing all the time. You have to have an unending desire to share art. That's what this is about. It's easier when you have nothing, but it's also harder to have nothing."
   (Brian Fallon - blog post, 19 September 2011)

"Once you figure out how to separate what you do when you are normal and what you do when you are performing, it gets easier. In real life, I'm not the life of the party.  I'm usually the guy in the corner trying to eat as quietly as I can.  That's who I really am. The character is the person I wish I was in high school.  That's not who I am, that's who I was when I went home and played guitar in the mirror.  It's the same thing."
    (Brian Fallon - Rant n' Rave with John Nagle, 22 October 2009)

"I get up during the day, and my hair is messy and I'm wearing the same ratty clothes. When it gets close to showtime, I start combing my hair and then I put my boots on. When I put the boots on, I become the guy. I'm the guy wearing the boots to work. It's the little things like that. The one thing I haven't done is change my clothes. Whatever I wear that day is what I wear onstage. Then when you put the guitar on, you become a different person. [...] But I don't turn on the character when I'm outside and someone comes up to me. If a kid comes up to me, they get the real person. That's the difference. That's what Joe Strummer was doing."
    (Brian Fallon - Rant n' Rave with John Nagle, 22 October 2009)

"I don't think about my life in the band when I'm not working. I don't go home and walk down the street thinking, 'hey, it's Brian Fallon, superstar'. I'm thinking, 'I'll buy shoes and get a haircut today'. It's like being Batman. For the two hours we play, I am Batman, the rest of the day I'm a regular guy."
    (Brian Fallon -, 16  November 2010)

On playing with Springsteen at Glastonbury:  "He just showed up. That was it. Nobody knew about it, nobody said anything, and he showed up and went, 'Can I play with you,' and we were, like, 'Absolutely. Yeah. All right.' It was literally three minutes before we went onstage. I asked him if he had a guitar, he said no, and I'm like, 'Well, OK, I've got one. Here. Play this.' The funny thing is the guitar I gave him I got that day and I'd never played it. So he was the first person to play that guitar. . . . And he uses these big, massive picks and he really jams on the guitar, so he scratched it - on the surface he totally put scratches on it, but it was hilarious because it was him.  If somebody's going to scratch your brand new guitar, it better be him."
    (Brian Fallon - The Calgary Herald, 22 September 2009)

"When I'm onstage [...] I look at it like the audience is my confessional. For however long our sets last, I feel like there's some sort of interchange going on. And that I feel understood for once."
    (Brian Fallon - NME, 17 July 2010)

"Music today has turned into this ridiculous hybrid of five different things that all sound like s--t.  And people are starting to realize that it's a cyclical thing - fans and critics attach themselves to the one thing that seems different from all of that, a big corporate monster gets a hold of it and then they start factory farming out the copycats.  For now, we're the exact opposite of the MySpace band with three songs. We're no frills, we don't dress up and we don't have keyboards."
    (Alex Rosamilia - Toronto Star, 11 July 2010)

"There are so many bands who have no substance. [...] They're not saying anything, there's no effort put in and they have no soul.  It just sounds like some guys with a million dollar record deal, a funny hair cut and not a lot else.  I have no interest in what they say at all."
    (Brian Fallon -, 2008/9)

"Now everybody ever born knows that the blues is not the white man's, it's too awesome for any pale skinned man or woman to have come up with.
    (Brian Fallon - blog post, 27 April 2010)

"There is redemption in every song."
    (Brian Fallon - NPR, 11 June 2010)

"I'm going to do everything I can to be a success as it's ridiculous to be afraid of that. It's easy to do this, you just have to keep perspective and stay away from things that make you a mess and ruin your career. Just don't be a jerk, don't take drugs, don't sleep with lots of chicks, don't stay out until four in the morning. Very simple."
    (Brian Fallon - Rock Sound, April 2010)

"Even if we get really, really big, I still want us to be the band that care about their art, care about the people that come to see them play [...]."
    (Brian Fallon -, 2008/9)

"Where we're from, if we come back to our home towns with some kind of attitude, we're not going to be taken back.  We try to be real people inside of all this."
    (Benny Horowitz - St Joe News, 17 April 2009)

"I could care less about ever having a No. 1 single. I would just like to be able to play and have people who grow old with you, and you stay with them through their life. We've got a few sentences, maybe, to say what life's about. Hopefully, we'll get a chapter later."
    (Brian Fallon - The Boston Globe, 30 May 2008)

"I would reccomend to really play music you love, and most importantly feel....if it feels good and you can stand behind your music, then success is achieved whether you get paid or not."
    (Benny Horowitz -, 13 June 2010)

"After parties are not my forte.  I'm a meat and potatoes guy, famous people scare me.  I'm much more comfortable around construction workers and screen printers."
    (Brian Fallon -, 28 July 2009)

"The real consistent thing with us is that we're still trying to stay the same guys.  It would be cool if we were the biggest band in the world... that people were like, 'You know what? Those guys are still cool. I remember them when they were playing in a basement and they are the same guys playing in whatever big arena.'  That would be the coolest thing for me.  That they hadn't changed."
    (Brian Fallon -, 2 March 2010)

"My friends always go, 'Are you rich yet?' Look at you on the TV and the magazines. You're on the cover of the internet,' they say. I'm like, 'That doesn't translate into dollars. You have to be OK with that, with doing that because you actually love it, not because you're waiting for some kind of miracle payday. That's the American reality. It shouldn't be called the American Dream, it should be the American Opportunity: 'dream' is elusive and a lot of people don't get there."
    (Brian Fallon - Spinner Music, 28 May 2010)

"I was the most misunderstood kid in the world, so it's really weird for me for be understood by young people and older people, because when I was younger I could never be understood by anyone. But then, the most misunderstood people can become the most related to. In high school, no one knew my name, now I feel kind of validated. It was hard, really hard. I had a couple of friends in high school and that was it. I was the kid everyone ignored, and now it's the opposite. It's exciting but I don't know how to deal with it."
    (Brian Fallon -, 16 November 2010)

"When bands are like, 'I'm such a deep artist, all my songs are DEEP', itís like, 'come on, you are not'. You think about boobies just like everyone else!"
    (Brian Fallon -, 16 November 2010)

"It's not like I don't want to be in the spotlight becuase when you start a band, a part of you always wants to be in the spotlight.  I just don't want to be anyone's hero because that would freak me out. [...] I just want to be successful without being famous."
    (Brian Fallon - Kerrang, 27 November 2010)

"Nobody needs me to tell them that times are hard right now.  There are bands [...] who will raise awareness about the political and social problems that you need to be aware of, but we're here to remind people not to loose sight of themselves and to take time away from it to actually live their life.  I know everything's weird and messed up right now, but don't let that take anything away from the joys of being alive."
     (Brian Fallon -, 2008/9)

"But that's life, you know?  A weird mixture of bitter and sweet."
     (Brian Fallon - Reax Music, September 2008)

"The thing that's so cool about living in America is that everyone will give you a chance to try. The thing that isn't good necessarily is the spoon-fed American Dream thing - just because you try doesn't mean you're going to be rich and successful. It's a long road."
     (Brian Fallon - Spinner Music, 28 May 2010)

"I think we need to learn to take care of each other better, I think people have lost human kindness. We're all in this together really. Nobody's better than anyone else [...]."
     (Brian Fallon -, March 2009)

"There's safety and dignity in tradition.  This generation is about instant gratification.  I don't like it."
    (Brian Fallon - Q magazine, December 2008)

"I do find that I tend to write about big questions.  Why are we here?  What are we doing?  How do we relate to each other?  I guess I'm very young to be writing like that, and I may not find the answers in the whole of my writing career, but those are the questions that move me to song.  Sometimes I wish I didn't look so deeply into everything, but I do. I can't do small talk - I never talk to people about the weather or what I've seen on TV.  I'm much happier writing about bigger topics, heavier stuff, because that is where the communication is.  That's where you can talk to others and discover: I'm broken and so are you." 
    (Brian Fallon - The Guardian, 12 June 2009)

"[O]riginal Les Pauls of the 1958-1960 breed can sell for upwards of $300,000! I don't know about you, but to me that is an absolutely inconceivable amount of money.  [...]  I'm reading this book [which] goes into great detail about how these guys buy one of these old guitars, and then they want another, and another, and another, because the flame of the wood, or the sunbursts are a bit different on each one... WHAT!? There are people starving to death down the street from me, and people are blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars on a guitar!?! Get serious about your whole life right now."
    (Brian Fallon - blog post, 27 April 2010)

"Live your life outside the internet. There's a sun out there that's shining. There's stuff to do, there's friends to be hanging out with. Go out, live. I'm not saying don't go on the internet, I'm just saying don't sit there and comment on everybody else's life, 'cos you're a scumbag too."
    (Brian Fallon - Matt and Mondo's Punk Rock Power Hour, 1 April 2011)

"You can get by just being yourself and being a regular guy."
    (Brian Fallon - Kerrang, 27 November 2010)

"[O]ne thing I learnt a long time ago is that the world is made up of more than your sadness.  Everybody goes through hardship and it only takes a day for something to change."
    (Brian Fallon - Rock Sound, October 2011)

"My dad has worked a lot, and he's got this old school work ethic that a lot of people have where I grew up. I remember when I was getting pretty serious about playing in bands, and my dad was sitting there with me at about one in the morning, and right before I went to be, he said 'Hey listenÖ' in that real stern New Jersey accent, and he had my full attention. 'You gotta follow whatever dream it is you have here, because I can't let you end up like me, where you're just killing yourself to make a dollar. What I'm doing is always waiting for you if you fail, because you can always work with your hands.'  Having my dad be so supportive when playing in a band to make money is so totally against the way my dad was brought up was huge for me. I come from a very old school family background where you're always living your life in your father's shadow, and always seeing if you measure up to your dad. I've always looked up to my dad and wanted to make sure he approved of me, so having him push me out there and giving me his support was monumental for me."
   (Brian Fallon -, 22 June 2010)

"Religion, well...that ship probably sailed a long time ago, bearing some sort of awakening or rapture."
   (Benny Horowitz - blog post, 7 January 2011)

Wacky quotes
"This song's about stealing from pirates."
    (Brian Fallon at the Area 4 Festival introducing 'We Came to Dance', August 2008)

"We sold a bunch of our internal organs to get the gig; it was tough to pull off without a liver, but we did ok."
    (Brian Fallon on performing on the Late Show -, March 2009)

    and here's that liver-less gig:


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